SACSCOC Substantive Change


University Policy Statement

The University of Louisville must report, in writing, any actions defined as a substantive change to the Southern Association of College and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).  This policy and procedure statement sets forth the steps and requirements to monitor and report substantive changes occurring at UofL including changes to programs, where and how programs are offered and institution-level changes.  The Office of Academic Planning and Accountability, a unit of the Executive Vice President and University Provost, coordinates academic program approval, program reviews and will work with the accreditation liaison to insure accurate reporting to SACSCOC. This policy statement will be reviewed and updated as needed on an annual basis and distributed widely.


SACSCOC Reporting Policy

The SACSCOC Policy on Substantive Change also provides information on what is reportable and the process for that report. If an institution fails to follow the substantive change policy and procedures of the SACSCOC, it may lose its Title IV funding or be required by the U.S. Department of Education to reimburse it for money received by the institution for programs related to Unreported Substantive Change. In addition, the institution's case may be referred to the Commission for the imposition of a sanction of for removal from membership.


Institutional Changes

• Change in Measure of Student Progress to Completion

• Competency-based Education by Course/Credit-based Approach – Institutional-level Approval

• Distance Education – Institutional-level Approval

• Governance Change

• Institution Closure • Institution Relocation

• Institution, Program, or Location Acquisition

• Institutional Contingency Teach-out Plan

• Level Change

• Merger / Consolidation

• Mission Change

• Ownership, Means of Control, or Legal Status Change


Program Changes

• Clock-Credit Hour Conversion

• Competency-based Education by Direct Assessment – Approval

• Competency-based Education by Direct Assessment – Notification

• Cooperative Academic Arrangement

• Cooperative Academic Arrangement with Non-Title IV Entities – Approval

• Cooperative Academic Arrangement with Non-Title IV Entities – Notification

• Correspondence Education

• Dual Academic Award

• Joint Academic Award with non-SACSCOC Institution(s) or Entity(ies)

• Joint Academic Award with SACSCOC Institution(s)

• Method of Delivery – Approval • Method of Delivery – Notification

• New Program – Approval

• New Program – Notification

• Program Closure

Program Closure Procedures and Teach-out Plans

• Program Designed for Prior Learning – Approval

• Program Designed for Prior Learning – Notification

• Program Length Change

• Program Re-open


Off-campus Instructional Site / Additional Location Changes

• Off-campus Instructional Site Definitions and Guidelines

• Off-campus Instructional Site Notification

• Off-campus Instructional Site Approval (including branch campus) 

Extensive Review

Limited Review

Committee Visits

• Off-campus Instructional Site Relocation

 Non-branch Campus

 Branch Campus

• Off-campus Instructional Site Name or Address Change

• Off-campus Instructional Site Closure

Program Closure Procedures and Teach-out Plans


• Off-campus Instructional Site Re-open



All academic units should review the UofL Substantive Change Policy and Procedures policy prior to making any significant program change. To discuss whether any actions under consideration in your academic area could be a substantive change, please contact the

SACSCOC Accreditation Liaison, Robert Goldstein, , Vice Provost for Institutional Research, Effectiveness and Analytics

 Additional Information


To assist academic programs to review items that are considered Substantive Changes by SACSCOC two forms have been developed as resource guides to provide additional information on the types of substantive changes under Program Level and Off-Campus Instructional Site categories. These forms are for reference purposes only. These forms will be filled out by OAPA staff and used to evaluate possible substantive changes once a Letter of Intent (LOI) has been completed or a conversation has been initiated regarding potential off-campus instructional location.